Informatics and Digital Creation

Digital, the law and our privacy

Does massive data collection change the notion of « privacy »? Does the law have to adapt to a society that has become digital? Why and how to explain the results of an algorithm? The articulation between law and techniques raises as many questions of law, society, ethics to which every citizen must be sensitive …



  • Internet of Things (IoT): represents the extension of the Internet to things and places in the physical world.
  • Big data: sometimes referred to as mass data – refers to data sets that become so large that they become difficult to process with traditional database management or information management tools. Big data offers new perspectives in data analysis, especially for predictive purposes, with expected spinoffs in many areas (health, environment, risk management …).
  • Anonymisation technique: technique of transforming datasets (by deletion of certain attributes, generalization, sound effects, …), in order to make it very difficult or impossible to « re-identify » or infer knowledge about people.
  • Prediction Algorithm: an algorithm for determining characteristics for new data from knowledge of learning data. In a way, the algorithm learns rules based on the learning data and applies them to new data. This is done, among other things, using probabilities, statistics and regressions.
  • Decision support algorithm: an algorithm for providing useful information for decision making (for example, providing a ranking, such as recommendation algorithms or search engines, or classifying elements into categories ). In some cases, these algorithms can even be used in fully automated processes.
  • Embedded software code: an embedded system is defined as an autonomous electronic and computer system, often operating in real time, specialized in a specific task and integrated into a system (car, train, plane …).


A specialist in privacy protection, Daniel Le Métayer is director of research at the Inria Grenoble – Rhône-Alpes research center and a member of the Privatics research team. Until June 2016, he was responsible for the Inria Project Labs Cappris, which brought together research teams active in the field of privacy protection.

His research activities revolve around the interactions between law and new technologies. It may also alert the public to the limits and dangers of certain projects, as was the case with the Intelligence Act (2015) and the TES (2016) Decree.